University of Oulu

Ismail Ismail, Ali Torabi Haghighi, Hannu Marttila, Uun Kurniawan, Oka Karyanto, Bjørn Kløve; Water table variations on different land use units in a drained tropical peatland island of Indonesia. Hydrology Research 1 December 2021; 52 (6): 1372–1388. doi:

Water table variations on different land use units in a drained tropical peatland island of Indonesia

Saved in:
Author: Ismail, Ismail1,2; Torabi Haghighi, Ali1; Marttila, Hannu1;
Organizations: 1Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, Pentti Kaiteran Katu 1, Oulu 90014, Finland
2Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Agro Street 1, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: IWA Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-01


Restoration and water table control on peatlands to limit fire risk are national priorities in Indonesia. The present study was initiated at Padang Island, Sumatra, to increase understanding on peatland hydrology in the tropic. At the pilot site, water table and precipitation were monitored at different stations. The results show variation in water table depths (WTDs) over time and space due to spatial and temporal variability in rain intensity and drainage networks. In part of the island, large-scale drainage for plantations led to deep WTD (−1.8 m) and high WTD recession rates (up to 3.5 cm/day). Around villages, farm-scale drainages had a smaller impact with a lower recession rate (up to 1.8 cm/day) and shallow WTD, typically below −0.4 m, the threshold for sustainable peatland management in Indonesia. The recession rates levelled off at 1.0 cm/day near the drained forest/plantation and at 0.5 cm/day near the farm. Deeper layers had much lower specific yield (Sy), 0.1 at −1.5 m depth, compared with top peat soils with Sy up to 0.3. Proximity to drainages extended discharge flow to deeper layers. The results highlighted the severity of peatland drainage impact on most coastal zones of Padang Island, which have intensive drainage networks.

see all

Series: Hydrology research
ISSN: 1998-9563
ISSN-E: 2224-7955
ISSN-L: 1998-9563
Volume: 52
Issue: 6
Pages: 1372 - 1388
DOI: 10.2166/nh.2021.062
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Funding: This study on Padang Island was a collaborative project by the Indonesian restoration agency (BRG) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), while this article was prepared together with the University of Oulu through WaterPeat project funded by EU WaterJPI program and KONE Foundation, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (